Aliens is a 1986 American science-fiction action horror film directed by James Cameron and starring Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael Biehn, Paul Reiser, Lance Henriksen, William Hope, and Bill Paxton. It is the sequel to the 1979 film Alien and the second installment of the Alien franchise. The film follows Weaver's character Ellen Ripley as she returns to the planet where her crew encountered the hostile Alien creature, this time accompanied by a unit of Colonial Marines.
Ellen Ripley, the only survivor of the space freighter Nostromo, is rescued and revived after drifting for 57 years in stasis. At an interview before a panel of executives from her employer, the Weyland-Yutani Corporation, her testimony regarding the Alien is met with extreme skepticism as she has no physical evidence. Ripley loses her space-flight license as a result of her "questionable judgment" and learns that LV-426, the planet where her crew first encountered the Alien eggs, is now home to a terraforming colony.
Some time later, Ripley, now working as a cargo-loader, is visited by Weyland-Yutani representative Carter Burke and Lieutenant Gorman of the Colonial Marines, who inform her that contact has been lost with the colony on LV-426. The company decides to dispatch Burke and a unit of marines to investigate, and offers to restore Ripley's flight status and pick up her contract if she will accompany them as an advisor. Traumatized by her previous encounter with the Alien, Ripley initially refuses, but after recurring nightmares about the Alien and a promise from Burke that the team will destroy any Aliens found and not attempt to study them, she accepts. Aboard the warship Sulaco she is introduced to the Colonial Marines, including Sergeant Apone, Corporal Hicks, privates Vasquez and Hudson, and the android Bishop, toward whom Ripley is initially hostile due to her previous experience with the android Ash aboard the Nostromo.
The expedition descends to the surface of LV-426 via dropship, where they find the colony intact, but seemingly abandoned. Inside they find makeshift barricades and signs of a serious fight, but no bodies. Two living facehuggers are found in containment tanks in the medical lab. The only colonist found is a traumatized young girl nicknamed Newt. The marines determine that the colonists are clustered in the fusion powered atmosphere processing station, where they find a large Alien nest filled with the cocooned colonists. The Aliens then attack, capturing Apone and Dietrich and killing Frost, Drake, Crowe, and Wierzbowski. Ripley is able to rescue Hicks, Vasquez, and Hudson. With Gorman knocked unconscious during the rescue, Hicks assumes command and orders the dropship to recover the survivors, intending to return to the Sulaco and destroy the colony from orbit. A stowaway Alien kills the dropship pilots Ferro and Spunkmeyer in flight, causing the vessel to crash into the processing station. The surviving humans barricade themselves inside the colony complex.
Ripley discovers that it was Burke who ordered the colonists to investigate the derelict spaceship where the Nostromo crew first encountered the Alien eggs, and that he hopes to return Alien specimens to the company laboratories where he can profit from their use as biological weapons. She threatens to expose him, but Bishop soon informs the group of a greater threat: the damaged processing station has become unstable and will soon detonate with the force of a forty megaton thermonuclear weapon. He volunteers to crawl through several hundred meters of piping conduits to reach and use the colony's transmitter to pilot the Sulaco's remaining dropship to the surface by remote control so that the group can escape. Ripley and Newt fall asleep in the medical laboratory, awakening to find themselves locked in the room with the two facehuggers, which have been released from their tanks. Ripley then activates a fire alarm to alert the marines, who rescue them and kill the creatures. Ripley accuses Burke of attempting to smuggle implanted Alien embryos past Earth's quarantine inside her and Newt, and of planning to kill the rest of the marines in hypersleep during the return trip so that no one could contradict his version of events. The electricity is suddenly cut off and numerous Aliens attack through the ceiling. Hudson, Burke, Gorman, and Vasquez are killed while Newt is captured by the Aliens.
Ripley and an injured Hicks reach Bishop and the second dropship, but Ripley refuses to leave Newt behind. She rescues Newt from the hive in the processing station, where the two encounter the Alien queen and her egg chamber. Ripley destroys most of the eggs, enraging the queen, who escapes by tearing free from her ovipositor. Closely pursued by the queen, Ripley and Newt rendezvous with Bishop and Hicks on the dropship and escape moments before the colony is consumed by the nuclear blast. Back on the Sulaco, Ripley and Bishop's relief at their escape is interrupted when the Alien queen, stowed away on the dropship's landing gear, impales Bishop and tears him in two. Ripley battles the queen using an exosuit cargo-loader, before expelling it into space through an airlock. Ripley, Newt, Hicks and the still-functioning Bishop then enter hypersleep for the return to Earth.